Caffeinated Links: Chris Messina in Alex of Venice, Disney Announces Plans for Star Wars Movies, more

Jonathan Jones of The Guardian writes a great post on contemporary performance art. “Performance art is funny for a very simple reason – it takes itself more seriously than appears justified. Anything that takes itself seriously invites mockery, from politics to religion: but when the gap between ostentatious importance and self-evident silliness is as vast as it is in so much performance art, the only honest response is laughter.” RT

Did you know that albatrosses have intense life-long love affairs? “For a long while they will dance with several partners, but gradually — it can take years to pick the right partner — they will find a particular favorite. Together those two continue to refine their steps, until, having “spent so much time dancing with that specific bird … that pair’s sequence of moves is as unique as a lover’s fingerprint.” RT

Chris Messina has released a new film at Tribeca. “Some actors have obvious breakout roles that change their careers forever, but Messina’s been working his way to the top for decades before winning hearts as lovable grump Danny Castellano, and Alex of Venice, his first turn behind the camera, is suffused with a sense of maturity and restraint. The film centers on the title character, a young mother and dedicated environmental lawyer played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), with Messina as her unhappy husband George. But the actor-director cedes the main stage to his talented co-star, and in doing so, presents a portrait of an unusually nuanced female protagonist.” RT

Disney is making LOTS of Star Wars movies. “The studio also has announced plans to do at least two spin-off films that are separate from the new trilogy, and will release them in the years between trilogy installments. After Disney CEO Robert Iger confirmed those projects, sources close to them told EW they will be a young Han Solo film, set before the events of 1977′s Star Wars: A New Hope, and a saga about Boba Fett and his rival bounty hunters, set either right before or after The Empire Strikes Back.” RT


photography light

Thank you Cellpoems

Really excited to say that my poem has been published as the poem of the week at Cellpoems! Cellpoems is one of my three favorite online publications, along with Rattle and Linebreak, so it’s a real pleasure to be included. If you haven’t yet, check them out, and consider subscribing -as well as publishing online, they deliver a short, exquisite poem once a week via text to subscribers.


I thought you would make things certain
Like a window nailed shut to the sill.

Read more 

Girl Lesson #3

You were born with a paper lantern for a
the skin lit from within, the light in
of going out.

-Sandy Longhorn, Cellpoems



Go On An Adventure


He Lives in an Ark and Dreams

My grandfather’s afraid of fortune and sails the world
In his handkerchief
He waves to the bottles in the sea
And reads their messages
The trenches are overflowing
It’s hard to stay positive
My grandfather’s afraid of the sky
His red kite rests on a cenotaph
My grandfather’s afraid of silence
He cradles the sound of crows
My grandfather’s afraid
Of saying goodbye
-Gabby Dodd-Terrell, age 12, Rattle

Caffeinated Links: Stream Needtobreathe’s New Album, Happiness and Work, Pacey/Joey


Needtobreathe has released a new album, Rivers in the Wasteland, and you can hear it in all its glory on Relevant. RT

Fast Company has a great analysis of the contrast between the working lives of Danes and Americans, and the happiness levels thereof. “Some non-Danes wonder if Danes ever work. Not only do Danes tend to leave work at a reasonable hour most days, but they also get five to six weeks of vacation per year, several national holidays and up to a year of paid maternity/paternity leave. While the average American works 1,790 hours per year, the average Dane only works 1,540.” RT

NPR’s Marc Hirsch has an on-point analysis of the writing flaws of New Girl – “It’s not because there wasn’t any narrative juice in a Nick/Jess pairing. Their relationship could have been the story of Jess gradually dragging Nick in the direction of becoming a put-together human being. It could have been the story of the tension between a bright-eyed optimist and a schlumpy underachiever. It was neither, because the writers don’t seem interested in picking a lane and seeing where it leads. Instead, they constantly fidget from one to another, always at the last second and always with almost immediate regret at not having made a different choice.” RT

Dawson’s Creek showrunner Kevin Williamson says that he had no idea how many people liked Joey and Pacey, and that up until the last moment he still planned to have Joey and Dawson get together. (Claire’s note: horror!) RT

How I Saved My Dry, Thick Hair


I have impossibly dry, impossibly thick hair. In my quest to find products and brands that worked, I cycled through nearly every drugstore brand and a fair segment of higher-level brands available, and I will tell you the truth: shampoo aside, it wasn’t until I shifted to more expensive brands that I was able to find something that worked, and not just kind-of-sort-of-worked/helped, but magically worked.

1. Clear Scalp and Hair Therapy Shampoo. I used Head & Shoulders and several other brands and was reasonably happy with them, but it wasn’t until I tried this that I realized just how unimpressive the others were comparatively. Not only does this do a better job of minimizing dandruff than any of the others – I noticed the difference the first time I used this – but it also does a straight shot of desperately needed, long-lasting moisture into my hair. It’s the most effective dandruff shampoo I’ve ever used, and leaves my hair itself soft and moisturized. Can be found for $5-$7 at any Target or drugstore. Definitely a keeper.

2. Aveda’s Dry Remedy Moisturizing Masque. I use this as my conditioner and ladies – it is the single best thing I have ever put on my hair. If I could take only one hair product to a desert island, this would be it. I remember the first time I used it just how disbelievingly I ran my hands over my hair after I’d showered and let it dry – it was the softest my hair had ever felt. I tried dozens of both high and low brand moisturizing shampoos and conditioners before finding on this – and even though I occasionally still try something new, I’ve never found anything better, so have stuck with this for the past two+ years. If you have dry hair, run, don’t walk, to the nearest Aveda and get this. It is pricey, but it’s insanely effective and best of all it lasts forever – one bottle lasts months. As a plus? It smells divine and is impossible to overuse - it’s easy to start out using more than you actually need, but it doesn’t weight your hair down or make it greasy, your hair still turns out soft, lightweight and shiny. Approximately $60 a year to have incredibly soft hair year-round? I’ll take it.

3. Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil. Liquid gold in a bottle. This is the only hair oil I have ever tried that blends in instantly without leaving any weight, stickiness, or oiliness behind, while still working like magic to smooth flyaways and leave your hair soft. Pump just a tiny bit into your hands, work through hair, and boom. Soft and controlled. Perfect.


To celebrate his just-announced Pulitzer win, a poem from Vijay Seshadri!

We hold it against you that you survived.
People better than you are dead,
but you still punch the clock.
Your body has wizened but has not bled

its substance out on the killing floor
or flatlined in intensive care
or vanished after school
or stepped off the ledge in despair.

Of all those you started with,
only you are still around;
only you have not been listed with
the defeated and the drowned.

So how could you ever win our respect?–
you, who had the sense to duck,
you, with your strength almost intact
and all your good luck.

-Vijay Seshadri



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